If you really think about, pets are like metal detectors. Before you dismiss that comparison, hear me out.
What is a metal detector? Well, the standard definition is that it is “an electronic device that gives an audible or other signal when it is close to metal, used for example to search for buried objects or to detect hidden weapons.” You might want to ignore the whole detecting hidden weapons part and reflect on the buried objects. People use metal detectors to scour the earth, like at a beach, to find buried treasure – the treasure that people have forgotten about. There is buried treasure within all of us and sometimes it takes our pets to locate it and that means boosting our health, our positive vibes, such as what pets are doing in boosting the health of LGBT seniors.
In this New America Media article, Matthew S. Bajko writes, “Researchers in aging have begun noticing how pet ownership can be a boon for older adults, especially LGBT seniors who are more likely to live alone and lack family connections. Their findings are bolstering calls by senior advocates for policies that foster pet ownership among older adults, particularly those who live in assisted living facilities, retirement homes or rental apartments that ban pets.”
Pet ownership is a boon for people of all ages, but a dog or a cat can make a tremendous impact on 50-plus adults and, as Bajko points out, older members of the LGBT community are more liable to feel the effects of loneliness. Pets can and will pull us out of the darkness of social isolation and give us something to live for. This makes sense, because according to Anna Muraco of the Department of Sociology at Loyola Marymount University, “Pets help with mental and physical health, provide connection to other people, and give their owners a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Pets help ward off depression, and dogs are a good way for people to get out and exercise.”
We live in an era of loneliness where negative feelings are constantly spinning in the atmosphere. These feelings stick to us and can be hard to wash off, especially for people who have been on the fringes of society for so long, such as older members of the LGBT community. Like metal detectors, pets will locate the positive feelings within us, the ones buried by an avalanche of negativity.
At Pet Speak, I will work with you and your pet to create a positive back and forth, an openness that will lift you up to new heights. Contact me today.